I've had a rough time finding the space in our calendar to unload the second edition of Forrest Griffin's refreshing UFC 134 blog, but fortunately the series is stuck at two and Yahoo! seems to be doing their best at making it as difficult as possible to find. (Seriously, search Google with any combination of words to try and find these things.)
In this episode, Forrest talks about being a provider, making a promise to a dying friend, and analogizing a championship run to looking up a mountain. He also talks about his upcoming fight with Mauricio Rua:
I fight Mauricio "Shogun" Rua for the second time at UFC 134 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, next week. I won the first fight four years ago and that was really a good night for me. You can tell that just by how stupid I acted after the fight.
The whole momentum, finishing the fight with 14 seconds left, it was one of those things - in that fight I didn't think he was gonna stop me, and I'm not gonna quit so I figured I'd win. And it's the same mentality this time. I'm gonna try and go forward, I'm gonna fight him and I'm not gonna back down. I'm not gonna fall down and crumble, and every scramble, I'm gonna scramble with him.
Yeah, there's a good chance that he'll catch me with a running hook or a knee or something, and I'll be done, but he's gonna have to earn that. I'm coming after him. I'm in a pretty good place mentally because I'm not so attached to the outcome. I care more about how I perform and more about not going out there and laying an egg, a.k.a. pulling an "Anderson Silva." As long as I fight and fight well, I don't give a hoot.
While I expect this fight to be fun inside the cage, I'm more interested in the storylines going in and coming out of Rio. We've heard rumors that "Shogun" is injured again. There are concerns that his conditioning isn't where it should be. (Sound familiar?) But we've also heard from Forrest himself that fighting feels like a job now, that he feels like he's pleateaued, if not outright regressed, as a fighter.
That this is a rematch of one of the most memorable upsets in UFC and MMA history only adds to the intrigue.